Papallacta Hot Springs
(Termas de Papallacta) served as "base camp" for
our 2006 Mountain Connectivity Conservation Management workshop
in the Ecuadorean Andes. This beautiful area is located 40 miles
(65 km) east of Quito at an elevation of 10,800 feet (3,220 m)
on the ancient "Cinnamon
Trail", linking the Amazon and coastal regions for centuries.
This is the same route that Spanish
explorer Francisco de Orellana took in 1542 when he crossed the
Andes in search of gold and discovered the Amazon River. It
winds across the forest, grasslands, rivers and cascades of the
Canyon Ranch, one of the main entrances to today's Cayambe-Coca
Ecological Reserve. This important mountain protected area provides
crucial habitat for the region's condors, pumas, hummingbirds
and the endangered "spectacled bears".